Sample Logic are well known for their huge, unique and incredible sounding libraries. They’re one of the “big boys” in the sample library scene with libraries like Cinematic Guitars and Morphestra being commonly used among working composers. Each of their libraries offer something unique compared to each other, and IMPAKT is certainly not alone in this.
IMPAKT is described as “A suite of over 850 breathtaking morphed concert percussion instruments and multis that will blow you away.“ Blow me away…right well that’s a bold statement – lets see how it holds up!
First thing I noticed when installing this library was that it was 20 GB. Let me just say that again – 20 GB! In terms of monetary value, that’s basically $20 per gigabyte of sounds you’re getting – not too shabby! The Kontakt instruments are split into two categories – Morphed and Traditional. I was actually a little bit suprised by this at first – what drew me to IMPAKT originally was that contained a boat load of “morphed” instruments, but they’ve actually included all of the “traditional” versions of these too. This definitely adds a lot of value to the library as you’re getting some really well recorded percussion instruments, along with all the whacky and weird morphed versions. Included in the “traditional” instrument section is:
- Bass drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- World Percussion
By themselves, these are some beautiful sounding instruments (58 nkis in total) and I guess they’re worth around $100 – $150 on their own if I was to purchase them as a separate library. Some stand out instruments in this section are the Glock (they’ve included a bowed and glissando glockenspiel along with rubber, aluminium and plastic mallets) and World Percussion (a nice array of world instruments) sections.
Onto the Morphed section of IMPAKT – this is the beefier side of the library. Its split into “Ambience”, “Instrumentals” and “Percussives”, all built from the above list of concert percussion instruments with each section sounding as you’d expect.
“Ambience” has 108 sounds to choose from ranging from dark/creepy/fuzzy to electronicy/bright/crystalline sounds. They’re all well made “ambient” sounds and most work best for sound design, rather than “music”. I could see myself using this part of the library for crime/dark drama music as a sound bed underneath the music.
“Instrumentals” has 97 files between the “arpeggiated” and “melodics” folders. Arpeggiated has a great selection of sounds ranging from soft and subtle to piercing and percussive – plenty of sounds that I’ll be using every day in here. Melodics has some more ambient pad like sounds, mixed with some more traditional sounds that have been “morphed” into something else. For example, you can hear the marimba in some of the patches, but its been twisted and mangled to sound like a pretty different instrument. Lots of really unique patches in here, that I’ll definitely be using in a couple of tracks.
Percussives has a massive 523 patches in total, which are separated into Hit Ensembles, Impacts, Kits, Loops, Sequenced, and Transitions. Hit Ensembles has a nice range of electronic and natural sounding hits which are useful for sound design and the “hybrid scoring” that’s all the rage these days. Impacts are as you’d expect – plenty of impact sounds that are also electronic/natural/twisted/morphed and separated into different folders according to sound and style. Kits didn’t blow me away – there are 5 to chose from but they didn’t really stand out to me. Loops have plenty of ridiculously good action/electronic loops to choose from and they remind me a little of those you hear in Cinematic Guitars. Different style, but same idea – dynamic and useful. Again, these are sorted into style and sound. Sequenced has a nice chunk of patches to choose from that are already programmed with FX that keep them moving and fluid and they mainly sound electronic with a couple of almost organic patches too (morphed a little bit away from their natural sound). Transitions have plenty of organic and fuzzy/electronic sound design transition sounds to choose from and definitely stand out from other transition patches I’ve heard in similar libraries. They’re a lot closer to an organic/concert instrument sound, but morphed far enough away to provide a new unique sound that’s somewhere between electronic and organic. Its hard to describe!
Moving onto the Multis section, there’s a huge 82 Kontakt multis to choose from, organised into Construction Beds, Instrument Stacks, One Note Glory and Traditional Percussion. Personally, I don’t use multis a whole lot in my own music as I prefer to built the sounds up one at a time, but the selection of multis available here is great. They could be used for all sorts of styles of cues – crime, drama, action. romance, sci-fi etc. There are bucket loads to choose from and they all offer the same type of sound – organic rooted, but electronically morphed sounds. As with the the rest of this library, you can hear part of the original “concert instrument” sound along with the twisted electronic sound too. Some really useful multis in here and I’ll certainly be using some of these aswell.
The IMPAKT interface is really well laid out with all of the FX knobs along the top, attack/release/hi cut/low cut + arp on the left and master FX in the bottom left. The arpeggiator is perhaps a little bit small at times but that would be my only gripe – otherwise its a simple GUI with everything you need.
So overall, what’s IMPAKT like? In a word…immense! Its a huge library offering some really useful percussive and tonal sounds which are so flexible and tweakable you can pretty much use them for nearly any style of underscore/instrumental music. I think it definitely offers something unique in that it literally sits right in the middle of an “organic” sample library that offers concert instruments and an “electronic” sample library that offers distorted/twisted/mangled sounds. Sample Logic describe it as “a new genre of sound where music and sound design collide” and I think that’s a really apt description of what you’re getting here.
Price wise, some people may find it a little steep at $400 but like I said earlier, you’re basically paying $20 per GB of sounds. If they offered a reduced version which didn’t include the “Traditional” sounds (for those who already have plenty of concert percussion instrument Kontakt libraries) at a slightly reduced price, I think more people might purchase it. Having said that, this is a monster library and at $400 its well worth the money.